Krav Maga means close fight, or close combat and is well known to be used by the Israeli defense and special forces, the main reason it was designed for. Known for its mixed range of influences from other arts, extremely efficient and brutal counter attacks, and a lot of focus on real-world situations, Krav Maga is growing fast in the UK.
Whilst talking to Jim Halton, a school friend who I hadn’t seen for 20 years, he asked if I would like to come along for a lesson at the school he runs. I had heard about Krav Maga and had been following his updates on Facebook with interest, so I decided to stop reading about it and take him up on his offer!
Arriving at The Bristol Brunel Academy was a little weird as my old school used to be in the same spot, long gone now though!
Walking in to the gym I was instantly welcomed by a few on the Bristol Titans members before Jim arrived, incidentally now looking completely different from the schools days! It was great to catch up a little before the lesson and talk soon turned to what I would be doing in the lesson.
We went straight into a warm up involving stretching and quick tempo exercise routine, which I haven’t done in a little while, so felt a few muscles working that I had forgot about!
The pads came out next and after pairing up, Jim came over to show my the basic jab and block, including where and how to use my feet. I was soon getting stuck in and swapping with my partner who wasn’t holding back with the jabs!
We then went on to a few moves designed to get you out of a headlock, take them down and back off. Again there was no holding back and I was soon being flung all over the place. I was getting to know the wooden flooring fairly well by this point, but learning so much! It felt really smooth when you pulled all of the moves off together and all of the moves made perfect sense to me.
Jim was regularly checking on my progress and pointing where I was going wrong and how to get a smoother and more direct move. Seeing me on the floor so much, I reckon he might have been enjoying the lesson too!
The final physical part of the lesson was a set up of bags and moves involving five people rotating through the roles. This was a little daunting to me at first as I was put with a few rather large guys who knew what they were doing, but I needn’t have worried too much as they took it a little easier on me. This was the part of the lesson I really enjoyed as it was closely related to a real scenario and went through jabbing pads, forcing your way through two guys with larger pads, being grabbed in a head lock, then using a move to get out of it. After this final setup I felt I had really been given a great insight in to Krav Maga.
I’m not going to lie, the next few days I was a little sore, but I was truly amazed how much I had learnt in one lesson. Talking to Jim and looking on his website, the Bristol Titans and Krav Maga in general, you can see that they like taking things to the next level. For example, classes in real life locations like bars, weapon training and taking part in other endurance events together. The class had a really nice feel to it, great atmosphere! Jim made the session really interesting, humorous and exciting, and I’m looking forward to going again.
Check out his website for more information on his Krav Maga school in Bristol: Jim Halton
Or check out the British Krav Maga Association website